Tackling food waste is my "go to" #onegreenthing. I love to compost. The only catch is that I live in Montana, where we have 3 months of spectacular summer and 9 months of winter. That means that composting is challenging in the winter. I use my backyard composter for about 4 months out of the year, but sometimes the lid is frozen shut in winter.
I decided to try out the Lomi composter, which is a portable composter that sits on a countertop. First things first. This is an expensive item. Mine cost $450! Gulp. I had friends rave it about it so I flinched and forked over the money. Besides, it's my job to talk about how individuals can live greener, more sustainable lives. Our actions drive the necessary culture change for these big policy solutions to work.
Here are the PROS:
The Lomi composts just about anything you eat. I avoid any meat or dairy scraps in my backyard composter because it could attract mice and other vermin. The Lomi, though, breaks everything down into a dry, mixed soil-like substance including fish, meat, and dairy. I store my Lomi "compost" (it's not technically compost) is a big paper bag and then when it's warm enough, dump it into my composter or sprinkle in the backyard.
The material is compost -like, but not compost. There is a "grow" setting you can use to go ahead and use your scraps right into potting soil. It takes longer so I used the lesser setting. The Lomi is basically a dehydrator and food processor. If you choose the "Lomi" setting, you can break down Lomi-approved plastics like compostable food ware and bags.
The Lomi is easy to use. You dump your food waste in the bucket, put a tablet that helps activate microbes to break down the food, add a tablespoon of water, put on the lid, and put on a button. Six to eight hours later it's done. You set it and forget it.
Here are on the CONS:
It smells. Maybe it's just my Lomi, but it smells and it's not great. Yes, I put my activated charcoal tabs in the filters regularly. One review I read before I bought the Lomi said it smells like potato chips. Ah, no. No way. Not potato chips. It's not as bad as my metal kitchen compost bin in the summer, but it definitely doesn't smell great. I've put mine in the laundry room next to our kitchen and close the door. I also run it late at night so my kids don't complain about the smell.
It's expensive. $450. Just wow. My hope is that the cost comes down over time.
It uses energy. The Washington Post reported that these types of composters are the energy equivalent of running an energy efficient dishwasher - or about $6 a month. The reduction in methane emissions makes it a net positive purchase. It all balances out for me because the Lomi does give me a sense of satisfaction knowing my leftover leftovers aren't going into the landfill.
My overall recommendation?
I give it three stars out of five.
If you have an apartment and can't compost, it might be worth the investment into these types of composters. There are other compost mills on the market that are less expensive. Despite the cost, it dramatically reduces food waste at home. I enjoy using it -especially in the harsh Montana winters.
Food waste is the one of the top five things individuals can do to impact climate change. Globally, food waste contributes eight percent of carbon emissions. Americans throw away 40% of the food we buy, that's the equivalent 130 billion meals. The average family of four could save $1500 a year just by reducing food waste. For more ideas, check my article for Readers Digest here.
Here's a quick Instagram Reel of the Lomi in action.